R "Ray" Wang, principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research, sees great potential in Google+ as a business application, particularly because of its unified communications features such as voice and video collaboration options. The fact that Google Apps users don't have their email unified just yet is a temporary roadblock, he said, a factor of Google suffering through "big company problems" where different product teams are struggling to synchronize their efforts.
The hurdles could even work to Google's advantage, establishing pent-up demand much like in the early days of Gmail, when accounts were offered on a limited invitation-only basis, Wang said.
Still, a survey of support forum threads shows many Google Apps users are frustrated.
"The thing is with people with personal Google apps domains are the first adopter types who would probably most interested in getting profiles and this Google+ thing working," wrote Jeff Martin, a programmer who works for the education firm Apollo Group, the operator of the University of Phoenix. He runs a Google Apps account for his own personal domain, he said, and for an educational nonprofit he supports.
"We're sort of the loyal Google guys, and we jumped on the bandwagon when they announced this 'use Google with your own domain' thing," Martin said. Sure, he could go back to signing in with his old Gmail account to use the social services, "but I really hate my Gmail address and don't want that exposed anymore."
Newsome said he was mildly irritated by this incompatibility when he first experimented with Google Buzz--except that he didn't care that much because Buzz never seemed to have the same potential that Google+ does. Now he wants in, and he doesn't want to have to switch to a personal Gmail account to accomplish it.
"If you're using Google Apps, you don't want to create a network around some other email address that you don't even use," he said.
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